Saudi Arabia ‘leading the way’ in global response to space debris threat

More than 260 leaders, experts, and speakers from more than 50 countries took part in the Space Debris Conference, which concluded in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
More than 260 leaders, experts, and speakers from more than 50 countries took part in the Space Debris Conference, which concluded in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
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Updated 12 February 2024
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Saudi Arabia ‘leading the way’ in global response to space debris threat

Saudi Arabia ‘leading the way’ in global response to space debris threat
  • Innovative solutions urged as Riyadh forum addresses growing risks

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is playing a key role in promoting international efforts to counter the growing threat posed by space debris, a global forum in Riyadh has been told.

More than 260 leaders, experts, and speakers from more than 50 countries took part in the Space Debris Conference, themed “Securing the Future of the Global Space Economy,” which concluded on Monday.

The conference and its activities highlight efforts by the Kingdom to understand the challenges and risks associated with space debris, and to adopt policies to protect the economic future of the space sector.

HIGHLIGHT

Participants emphasized the importance of finding technological solutions to the threat, and called for the protection of space for future generations. They stressed the need to address the debris challenge and develop an intergenerational charter leading to space sustainability.

Organized by the Saudi Space Agency in collaboration with the Communications, Space and Technology Commission, the International Telecommunication Union, and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, the conference included four discussion sessions and four keynote speeches addressing legislation and future trends in confronting the problem of space debris.

Participants emphasized the importance of finding technological solutions to the threat, and called for the protection of space for future generations. They stressed the need to address the debris challenge and develop an intergenerational charter leading to space sustainability.

A set of ideas for future solutions aimed at eliminating risks and securing Earth was presented, reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to strengthening cooperation to achieve space sustainability and progress. This effort is focused on developing the space economy and stimulating space innovations to serve both the Kingdom and humanity as a whole.




More than 260 leaders, experts, and speakers from more than 50 countries took part in the Space Debris Conference, which concluded in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)

The Kingdom, represented by the Saudi Space Agency, aims to strengthen its position among the leading countries in the field of space through this conference, the first of its kind in the region. It seeks to achieve this by conducting numerous scientific research and explorations to serve humanity. Through these endeavors, the Kingdom is working to affirm its commitment to protecting the planet and shaping new horizons in the space field.

The first keynote speech of the conference’s second day, titled “Mission to Remove Space Debris from Earth’s Orbit,” was delivered by Luc Piguet, CEO of ClearSpace, a company specializing in space debris removal.

He touched on efforts to remove space debris, which poses an increasing threat to Earth’s orbit and space systems, revealing that the first request for space debris removal was made to his company in 2019 by NASA, adding that the cost of removing a single piece can reach more than $100 million, and calling for global solutions and deepening international cooperation to confront this challenge.

Regarding “Space Debris Mitigation and Removal,” the session discussed efforts made by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, including developing satellite technologies and their remote sensing feature and making improvements on robots to ensure their future employment in space debris removal.

Session participants explained that the increase in space debris is directly linked to increased risks that may affect important terrestrial services such as the Internet and scientific research, in addition to their impact on the climate and the economy. Speakers called on countries and government to enact binding laws that hold operators responsible and obligate them to find solutions.

Marshall Kaplan, chief operating officer at Launchspace Services, highlighted the latest innovations and developments in the field of effective debris removal technologies that offer solutions to the problem according to many experts in the sector.

Kaplan suggested that the Saudi Space Agency lead a global initiative to launch brainstorming meetings with the world’s leading minds and innovative entrepreneurs to find new technologies to deal with the problem of space debris, given the Kingdom’s leadership in this important file.”

Kevin O’Connell, founder and CEO of Space Economy Rising, praised the Kingdom for taking the lead in seeking to unify global efforts to address the issue of space debris.

O’Connell said that international agreements, such as the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, seek to restrict the militarization of space and maximize its peaceful uses.

“We are now witnessing a great deal of investment activity around the world with the flourishing of the space sector, robotics and space technologies for the peaceful use of outer space,” he added.

On the opening day, the conference began its first session with a panel discussion titled “Beyond Borders, Beyond Debris: Space Agencies Unite for a Sustainable Space Future.”

The second panel, hosted by the UNOOSA and titled “Translating Policy into Progress,” shed light on the roles the office seeks to undertake, including the development of new technologies to contribute to mitigating the issue of space debris. Participants noted that space is equally accessible to all, making cooperation imperative for the benefit of all humanity.
The third panel discussion, titled “Role of Licensing Bodies,” explored the Kingdom’s role as a key player in addressing the challenge of space debris.

 


KSrelief continues aid projects across several countries

KSrelief continues aid projects across several countries
Updated 5 sec ago
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KSrelief continues aid projects across several countries

KSrelief continues aid projects across several countries

RIYADH: Saudi charity KSrelief distributed 1,930 food parcels on Saturday to displaced families in Sudan’s Blue Nile state. 
The initiative, part of the group’s food-security support project in Sudan, benefited 12,236 individuals, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The assistance comes within the framework of a series of relief and humanitarian projects implemented by Saudi Arabia through KSrelief to help conflict-hit areas, SPA added.
In Lebanon, KSrelief provided health care services to Syrian refugees and their host community in Arsal town of Baalbek Governorate. 
The Arsal Health Care Center received a total of 3,422 patients and offered 6,128 services from various health sections such as clinics, pharmacies, laboratories, nursing and the community and mental health program. 
In Yemen, KSrelief continues its implementation of the water supply and environmental sanitation projects across several districts. If February, KSrelief pumped 36,207,000 liters of usable water and 3,194,000 liters of potable water into Hajjah Governorate.
Additionally, the center carried out 237 transportation operations to remove waste from displaced camps.
In Saada Governorate, KSrelief pumped 290,000 liters of potable water and another 290,000 liters of usable water, benefiting 30,100 people.


Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss Middle East escalation

Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss Middle East escalation
Updated 14 April 2024
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Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss Middle East escalation

Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss Middle East escalation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke with the prime minister of Iraq on Sunday, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

During their phone call, Prince Mohammed and Mohammed Al-Sudani discussed developments in the region and increasing escalation against the backdrop of the crisis in the Gaza Strip and its repercussions.

They also dissussed the importance of making the necessary efforts to prevent the situation from worsening and ways to spare the region from the risks of escalation, SPA added.


Saudi FM receives phone call from Iranian counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. (File/AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. (File/AFP)
Updated 14 April 2024
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Saudi FM receives phone call from Iranian counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. (File/AFP)

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Sunday.

During the call, the officials discussed developments in the region and increasing escalation against the backdrop of the crisis in the Gaza Strip and its repercussions.


Saudi defense minister discusses military escalation in region with US counterpart

Saudi Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman discussed the military escalation in Middle East with US Secretary of Defense.
Saudi Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman discussed the military escalation in Middle East with US Secretary of Defense.
Updated 14 April 2024
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Saudi defense minister discusses military escalation in region with US counterpart

Saudi Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman discussed the military escalation in Middle East with US Secretary of Defense.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman discussed the military escalation in the Middle East on Sunday with his US counterpart during a phone call.

The call comes after Iran launched a wave of missiles and attack drones against Israel overnight Saturday to Sunday.

Prince Khalid and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also discussed efforts to contain the crisis while upholding international peace and security.

The officials also reviewed their strategic defense partnership and explored ways to further enhance it, the Kingdom’s defense minister said in a post on X. 


Saudi artist seeks to beat limitations and transcend comfort zones

Saudi artist seeks to beat limitations and transcend comfort zones
Updated 14 April 2024
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Saudi artist seeks to beat limitations and transcend comfort zones

Saudi artist seeks to beat limitations and transcend comfort zones
  • Ali Alhammadi has been passionate about visual arts since childhood

JEDDAH: Ali Alhammadi, a Saudi 32-year-old visual artist from Aldawadmi in Riyadh, has carved out a remarkable pathway in the world of art since his professional debut in 2017.

Passionate about visual arts since childhood, Alhammadi’s artistic inspiration was ignited by the “Saudi renaissance” in line with Vision 2030, prompting him to embark on a creative expedition to express his perceptions through the canvas.

Alhammadi told Arab News that his art philosophy is about breaking invisible limitations and transcending comfort zones, drawing inspiration from the evergreen landscapes he encountered during camping trips with his father in the Riyadh desert.

Passionate about visual arts since childhood, Ali Alhammadi’s artistic inspiration was ignited by the ‘Saudi renaissance’ in line with Vision 2030. (Supplied)

“During every spring season, me and my father used to go camping in the outskirts of Riyadh, when the desert turns green for a couple of months, where all the magical inspiration happens.”

Through his landscapes and abstract pieces, Alhammadi delves into his feelings, insecurities and aspirations, painting a narrative that speaks volumes.

“I use my art to express both happiness and sadness, and sometimes I start a painting with an idea in mind, but then I end up with a new one,” he said.

Ali Alhammadi, Saudi artist

One of Alhammadi’s pioneering techniques, “Invisible Limitations,” challenges traditional conceptions and societal norms, symbolizing the potential within, and beyond self-imposed boundaries. He said that his work reflects a realization that limitations are merely illusions.

“Our comfort zone sometimes restricts our ability to be inspired and inspire others. That’s why I decided to paint the Invisible Limitations theme.

“As I matured, I realized that most of these limitations don’t exist ... our limitation is the sky.”

Passionate about visual arts since childhood, Ali Alhammadi’s artistic inspiration was ignited by the ‘Saudi renaissance’ in line with Vision 2030. (Supplied)

Alhammadi’s artistic evolution has been influenced by his participation in prestigious exhibitions such as The Stars Exhibition at the German Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the second Riyadh Season Exhibition.

These platforms not only showcased his talent but also provided a catalyst for his creative development, empowering him to delve deeper into his cultural roots while embracing global influences.

Navigating between diverse cultural landscapes, Alhammadi, based between Liverpool and Riyadh, seamlessly fuses vibrant hues and styles, blending Saudi heritage and international artistic trends.

His experiences abroad have expanded his artistic horizons, inspiring him to create artworks that resonate with a global audience while retaining a distinctive Saudi essence. “Now that I have found my theme and art style, I believe that this phase will take me to different phases in my professional art career,” he said.

Looking toward the future, Alhammadi envisions his artwork evolving to explore the intricacies of human and cultural relationships, going deeper into themes that resonate with universal emotions and experiences. “Human and cultural relationships is something I’m keen on expressing through art,” he said.

His participation in international and local events such as the Founding Day in Liverpool and the National Day in London has not only spotlighted his talent but also enriched his artistic narrative with a tapestry of diverse influences.

For aspiring visual artists embarking on their creative odyssey, Alhammadi offers this advice: “Stay true to your vision, embrace your unique style, and let your art tell your story.”